Because I’m not fond of the big city, I was happy to avoid a trip to Metro Manila. No offense to you big dogs out there. Frankly, I don’t know how guys like Randy “Papa Duck” and Scott H can handle the stress of living in Manila, but they do. I get pissed off at tricycle drivers and jeepney operators in the “Mayberry RFD” of the Philippines, Guimaras. However, today’s post “Remarkable US Embassy Passport Renewal” explains how I avoided a trip to Metro Manila.
Remarkable US Embassy Passport Renewal
In ancient times, one of my expat friends told me he had to personally go to Manila to renew his United States passport. In contrast, you can now follow a few simple steps online. As a result, a trained monkey could now renew their U.S. Passport.
Personally, I want to apologize to any trained monkeys I might have offended by the above statement. I’ve lived in the Philippines for over ten years. A few Americans I’ve met over the years haven’t had the sense to renew their visas. Hence, they’re in the Philippines illegally.
Frankly, if you’re in the Philippines illegally, you could wind up in the Bureau of Immigration’s notorious prison camp. Consequently, it’s possible you could end up as somebody’s trained monkey.
OK, let’s breakdown the steps you would need to renew your United States passport online. However, if you’re a U.S. Citizen who is living in the Philippines illegally, you can skip the following section.
This information comes from the U.S. Embassy’s website.
You may renew your passport with these instructions if all the following are true:
Your most recent U.S. passport:Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
Was issued when you were age 16 or older
Issued within the last 15 years
Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change
Contains no special endorsement that requires Department of State approval to renew.
If all the above statements apply, please follow the instructions below:
(I’ve condensed the following section. Please check out the U.S. Embassy website for complete details.)
Step 1: Filling out the DS-82 FORM
Electronically complete (fill out) and print the DS-82 Application for a U.S. Passport.
Make sure to include a valid email on the form.
Please note that some instructions and options on the form are only applicable in the United States.
(Editor’s Note: The DS-82 Form is simple to fill out and very brief. A trained monkey could do it.)
Step 2: SUBMISSION METHOD (choose between two options)
Decide on your submission method for the DS-82 application. Payment must accompany all application submissions. The non-refundable application fee for an adult passport book renewal is $110.
OPTION 1: BY APPOINTMENT.
You, or a designated representative, will need to appear for your appointment date with the completed and signed DS-82 application form, recent 2”x2” photos on white background (no eye-glasses), and $110 passport fee (payable in USD, PHP or by credit card). If you are sending a representative on your behalf, the representative must have a written, signed authorization letter from you, authorizing the representative to apply and make payment for a passport renewal on your behalf.
OPTION 2: SUBMIT APPLICATION BY MAIL WITH ENCLOSED U.S. DOLLAR DEMAND DRAFT:
Include a US-dollar demand draft made out to “U.S. Embassy Manila” for $110 with your application. Currently, there are three (3) local banks participating in this mail-in dollar demand draft program: Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI), Banco De Oro (BDO) and Security Bank (SBC). Except for these three banks mentioned (BPI, BDO and SBC), we do not accept demand drafts from any other bank or any other financial instruments at this time and if an application is sent without the enclosed U.S. dollar demand draft, the application will be returned to you and will not be processed.
Including any other form of payment with your application will result in significant delays in processing your application. If an application is sent without the enclosed U.S. dollar demand draft, the application will be returned to you and you will not be processed.
Please make two (2) separate photocopies of the demand draft and enclose these with the original check and application form. If applying for an emergency passport, it is advisable to select the second option below (personal payment in cash.) DO NOT INCLUDE CASH WITH YOUR MAIL-IN APPLICATION.
If applying for an emergency passport, it is advisable to select OPTION 1 (online appointment.)
Please send all documents and, your U.S. dollar demand draft to the Embassy by one of the methods described below.
Address all shipments to: Citizenship and Passport Unit, American Citizens Services, Consular Section, U.S. Embassy, 1201 Roxas Boulevard, 1000 Manila. (Note: Mailed-in applications may take a few days to be delivered to the ACS unit due to the large volume of mail received by the Embassy mailroom.)
Embassy Courier service: Air21 provides a contracted pick-up and delivery service for adult passport renewals.
If you send your application via Air21 courier, the one-time courier fee (P160 for within Metro Manila pick-up and P240 for outside Metro Manila pick-up) covers the two way service: pick-up of documents and delivery of the completed passport.
You may call (02) 879-4747 to have Air21 courier pick-up the documents and deliver them to the Embassy. Please verify the courier fee with the Air21 courier as fees may vary in Air21 non-serviceable areas and subject to change without prior notice.
Other Courier services: You may send your application to the Embassy through any other courier service.
Philippine Postal Service: you may send your application to the Embassy through the regular Philippines mail.
Please include the following with your mailed-in application:
Completed and signed DS-82 application form. NOTE: Social Security number (SSN) is required for all passport applications. You must provide your SSN on the application form.
Your most recent passport and photocopy of the passport personal data page
Two pieces 2″x 2″ photos (no eye glasses.)
Demand draft payment: enclose the U.S. dollar demand draft issued by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Banco De Oro (BDO) or Security Bank (SBC) made out to “U.S. Embassy Manila” for $110.
Two (2) separate PHOTOCOPIES of the demand draft
Proof of Name change (if applicable)
Do NOT enclose CASH payment! If an application is sent without the enclosed U.S. dollar demand draft, the application will be returned to you and will not be processed.
Emergency Travel in less than 2 weeks?
You may walk in to the Embassy only if you have a valid emergency travel and there is not enough time to process the full-ten year passport. (Editor’s Note: Check the U.S. Embassy website for more details regarding emergency travel.)
Step 3: DELIVERY OF COMPLETED PASSPORT
The passport will be processed and delivered within 4-6 weeks upon approval. For applications sent by mail, the expired U.S. passport (duly canceled by the Embassy) will be delivered together with the new U.S. Passport.
The Kano’s Passport Experience
First of all, there’s a lot of information to digest. As a result, you might think this renewal process is going to be difficult. It isn’t.
Filling out the DS-82 FORM was easy. Obtaining my bank draft from BDO for $110.00 US dollars was time consuming. However, it saved me a trip to Manila.
My photo ID was initially a matter of concern. Consequently, I used the online tool provided by the Embassy to make sure my ID pictures followed the exact parameters required. Here’s the link to the Photo Composition Template. I URGE you to check this tool out to make sure your photo ID won’t be rejected.
Make sure you use a photography ID service in the Philippines that understands the exacting standards you need. After some careful study using the photo I had taken, I made sure it fit the exact requirements as displayed in the Photo Composition Template.
Air21 Delivers my Passport
I sent my passport via LBC in Guimaras. While the U.S. Embassy uses Air21, the LBC outlet is near us. Air21 is located in Iloilo City but I didn’t want to endure long lines at the Jordan Wharf to cross the Iloilo Strait to Iloilo.
It only took 27 days to receive my new passport and my old passport I had submitted. That time period included two holidays the Embassy observed. Of course, I took pictures of my old passport Bio pages before I sent it off. A courier from Air21 delivered the passport(s) directly to Guimaras.
Remarkable US Embassy Passport Renewal
The Embassy did not email me or send me a text message to notify me my passport was on its way. My wife has a classmate in Guimaras whose husband is in charge of handling U.S. Passports for Air21.
He noticed my name on packages delivered to Iloilo and notified my wife with the tracking number. The package came in from Iloilo to Guimaras the day after my wife was notified. It was very kind of the gentleman to do that. The Air21 messenger sent a text message to my wife’s number to let her know he was on his way with my passport.